Introduction: Collapsible Building

Wargaming is a space-intensive hobby, as anyone who collects even a few miniatures is likely to discover. Even the least expensive and durable minis require some protection in storage, and with the accumulation of an army, the required space adds up. Perhaps a more egregious offender is 3D terrain, such as hills or forests. Often such pieces cannot be easily stacked, and take up large inconvenient amounts of room, in addition to being prohibitively expensive. This building is an answer to those problems, being a low cost alternative piece of 3D terrain that collapses down to approximately 35% of its' original size (65% reduction, 6" to ~2"). It can be produced on virtually any low cost 3D printer, requiring 6" of build length in either X or Y (assuming Z is vertical). While collapsed, the building itself is hardy and resistant to damage.


3D Printer - Must have at least 6" of horizontal build area and 3" of vertical build area (you'll be hard pressed to find a printer that doesn't meet those requirements; most Creality products are far larger than needed here)

Filament - PLA works well; be sure that it is a filament that has been tuned to string little and bridge well.

CA Glue - Used for assembly of some joints; fine tip accuracy is not required

Files - Here you can find the most up-to-date files for the building itself. Be careful; parts of different versions may not be compatible with each other, despite similarities.

Step 1: File Exports

The files, as shown in modeling, would be exceptionally messy to print. As such, there is a folder within the linked document that contains the printable assemblies of parts - aptly called Printable Assemblies. Be sure to go to a saved Version in the top left corner so you don't download a half-finished part. When exporting assemblies, be sure NOT to export as individual parts. They should remain .stl files. Some subassemblies are printed in place, and as such cannot be disassembled/reassembled conventionally. In addition, the Slider Clip and Stiff Wall files must be exported as an individual parts.

Step 2: Printing

In your slicer(s), orient the parts/assemblies so as to lay flat each part. The Stiff Wall, Slider Clip, and Wall Hinge have simple orientations that are easily determined. Lay 'em flat. The Gull Wall should be laid on the flats of the 3 clips. The printable roof should be printed such that the slider prongs are flat on the build plate. IF THESE ORIENTATIONS ARE NOT USED, MASSIVE AMOUNTS OF SUPPORT WILL BE REQUIRED. If the correct positions are used, no supports are required (Full stop. No part of this project currently has any need of supports). Use settings that work for your filament/printer; be sure gaps can be held in hinges, and be aware stringing can fuse parts if it is bad enough.

The parts and number required are as listed: (x1 Building)

x2 Stiff Wall

x2 Gull Wall

x2 Roof

x4 Slider Clips

x8 Wall Hinges (don't worry, they're small and fast)

Step 3: Assembly & Usage

Gather all of your parts. Be sure any joints can move freely. Slide all the Wall Hinges onto all of the dovetails of either the Gull Walls or the Stiff Walls; I found the Stiff Walls easier to work with. The hinges are symmetric; any orientation is aesthetic, not necessary for alignment. Glue any that are loose or that you worry may come loose. Slide the other ends of the hinges onto the corresponding dovetails on the Gull Walls. The notches on the Gull Wall support the Roof pieces; be sure that they are oriented correctly to the Stiff Walls. When in doubt, check the CAD. Glue any loose or worrisome joints. Slide the prongs of the Roof assemblies into the slots on the inside of the Stiff Walls; they should move cleanly with little effort. Attach and glue a Slider Clip on each prong. Building assembly complete!

To use the building in a game, pull outward the Stiff Walls and the Gull Walls. The walls should make a 6" x 6" box, 3" tall. Pull the Roof pieces upwards, then slide the pieces downwards. If the clips between the roof and the slider rails are correctly aligned, the roof should be approximately flush to the wall. Rest the roof on the notches of the Gull Walls for support. Congratulations! You now have a usable building that should hold its' own against even the heaviest of miniatures.

To store the building, reverse the steps above. Pull the Roofs upwards fully, then fold the roofs outwards to flat on the Stiff Walls. The link between the slider and the roof will stick out above the wall; this is normal. Press the hinges of the Gull Walls inwards; the building should collapse completely with the Gull Walls nearly touching in the middle of the assembly. This piece can now be stored as you so please, with a noticeably smaller footprint than that of a normal building.

Step 4: Future Updates

Be sure to check in on this project once in a while! In the works are small improvements, modularity, stacking functionality (skyscrapers, anyone?), and skywalks! Updates will be posted when stable versions are created.

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